TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Chris Christie has defeated Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey.
With 71 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Christie had 50 percent of the vote to Corzine’s 44 percent.
Christie, a 47-year-old former federal prosecutor, became the first member of his party in a dozen years to win a statewide contest in heavily Democratic New Jersey.
The Republican victory deals a blow to President Barack Obama as he readies for next year’s midterm elections. Obama campaigned heavily for Corzine.
Christie accepted public financing in the race against the wealthy incumbent and was outspent by more than $12 million.
He ran on a platform of smaller government and criticized Corzine for what he called poor economic stewardship. State unemployment was nearly 10 percent in October and property taxes are the nation’s highest.